Evidence released out of Israel today has proven a fourth shot of COVID-19 vaccine is ineffective against the latest Omicron variant.
More than 270 front-line medical staff were given a fourth injection of both Moderna and Pfizer in December with the data released this week showing both groups showed only a slight increase in antibodies after the third shot, yet not enough to prevent Omicron.
According to the hospitals director of infectious disease,Dr. Gili Regev-Yochay, his staff were still infected with the virus after a fourth vaccine, stating the vaccines weren't "good enough" in the prevention in the less severe new variant.
“Despite increased antibody levels, the fourth vaccine only offers a partial defense against the virus,” he said.
"Many [were still] infected with Omicron who received the fourth dose.
“Granted, a bit less than in the control group, but still a lot of infections.”
“The vaccines, which were more effective against previous variants, offer less protection versus Omicron".
Despite the disappointing results, the Sheba Hospital encouraged a continuation of the vaccine rollout "even though the vaccine doesn’t provide optimal protection against getting infected with the variant.”
Israel has so far vaccinated 80 percent of its adult population, with two shots administered and half of these boosted with a second administered over December and January.
Director of Israel’s Health Ministry, Dr. Nahman Ash told the media that despite efficacy from the shot, it did not mean the vaccine wasn't working.
“It returns the level of antibodies to what it was at the beginning of the third booster. That has great importance, especially among the older population,” he stated.
The findings have not yet been published and do not reveal specific data.
Total deaths in Israel over the two-years of the COVID-19 pandemic is 8,318.
Of note, the average death rates in Israel for chronic respiratory illness (lower only listed), flu and pnemonia on average are just under 5,000 elderly each year. Given this, the rate of mortality in respect to COVID-19 is almost double, yet this may attributed to their fast and heavy handed response to the vaccine roll-out, which began in December 2019 and to date stands at the forefront as the most aggressive world-wide.